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Available at your local Ferrari dealership.
Come late 2001, you’ll be able to walk into your local Ferrari dealership and buy a Maserati 3200GT. And Jaguar and Porsche will suddenly have a serious new rival.
The rebirth of Meserati comes under new owner Ferrari, which believes the 3200GT is proper successor to the great GT’s of the ’60s and ’70s, when Maseratis were beautiful and highly regarded cars. It also returns the trident to the rightful place as one of the world’s great marques, although understandably one rung below Ferrari. It is hoped we’ll forget the disastrously unreliable and boxy Maseratis from the era of de Tomaso ownership.
This is Giugiaro’s idea of how a Maserati GT should look. If there are obvious links in its classical proportions and details with other front-engine, rear-drive GT cars like the Aston Maserati wanted a conservative design rather than something radical or extreme. The 3200GT is more masculine, more aggressive than the beautiful DB7, and from the side it looks taller and thicker, especially around the rear flanks, than one would expect. The double-boomerang LED taillights are claimed to be a world first.
Color? Choose from 14, including the aptly named Green Moss, Red Indianapolis (where a Maserati won in1940) White Birdcage (Alfieri’s brilliant late-‘50s sports car), and the color of the car we drove, Blue Argentine (Fangio’s homeland).
Only the basic architecture of the twinturbo V-8 is carried over from the old Maserati. Otherwise, the 3200GT is new from the ground up. New are the unequal-length control-arm front rear suspensions (mounted on separate subframes), a wheelbase that is, surprisingly, longer than the Maserati Quattroporte sedfan’s, and a body that’s exceptionally rigid.
Open the driver’s door, and you’re greeted by an all-leather interior that’s traditional in appearance, superbly finished, and roomier than the cabins of the Jaguar and Porsche competition. The driving position — splendidly comfortable and much higher than you might expect from a GT car — reminds us of the Ferrari 550 Maranello’s, not least because they share the same marvelous Momo steering wheel. The power driver’s seat, firm, and supportive, grabs hard. The location of the seat, the pedals, the wheel, and the controls requires no compromises. Only the reach to fifth gear demands a stretch. More so than a 911 or an XK8, but it’s still tight in the rear seat for adults.
What’s this, a Maserati twin-turbo V-8 that’s refined and progressive? The seductive V-8 burble at idle and smooth take up of power suggest so. The gear-change is heavy until the gearbox oil warms up; then it’s slick, fast. Ratio for ratio, it’s the same Getrag 226 six-speed box used in the European BMW M3. Immediately, it’s obvious this isn’t an on/off turbo engine. Substituting variable-flow IHI TTW9 turbos for the old radial-flow blowers, and using 16/7-inch-long induction pipes, improve low-end response by 20 percent.
The figures are confirmed by mostly civilized manners. The torque of 362pound-feet is developed at 4500rpm, with at least 326 pound-feet on tap between 2700 and 5500 rpm. The DOHC four-valve- per-cylinder engine pumps out 365 hp at 6250 rpm. Maserati claims the 3200GT will hit 62 mph in 5.1 seconds. However, it nearly matches the (automatic only) Jag XKR’s power and weighs about 250 pounds less, so that claim sounds conservative by several 10ths.
Power delivery isn’t linear. There is a progressive burst of energy from 3000 to 4500rpm. From these to the 6500-rpm redline the engine’s potency is never in question. It flies in any gear, at any speed. Despite a drive-by-wire throttle, tip-in and tip-out aren’t consistent.
At 140rpm, the 3200GT is rock steady. High-speed stability — the work of countless hours in the wind tunnel — is excellent. Not so good is the steering. It feels fixed to the straight-ahead position. To move the wheel off-center demands overcoming artificial resistance, so you input more force than it is necessary. When it moves, the 3200GT darts aggressively, nervously. Only when you’re constantly working the wheel through the twisty bits does the steering feel accurate and precise, the weighting consistent.
The 3200GT picks up the 550 Maranello’s ASR traction-control system that’s integrated into the electronics that control the adaptive dampers. The ASR delivers two levels of traction. In the “standard” position, ASR cuts power before there’s even a chirp from the massive 18-inch Michelins and shuts down the engine even when the Maser’s driven halfway briskly through a corner. With the dampers set to “sport”, the driver’s control of the throttle disappears the moment oversteer intrudes. Turn it off, and the contrast couldn’t be more vivid. Suddenly, the 3200GT turns into a power oversteerer that demands respect but, equally, allows the enthusiastic driver complete command in determining exactly how the car should behave. And it behaves impressively, with a huge amount of grip and real adjustability. At suburban speeds, the ride is lumpy, and although it improves significantly the faster you go, expansion joints and potholes can jar the suspension.
In three years, any dynamic flaws will like have been sorted. Why do we think so? Because many of the same team members who developed the brilliant 550 Maranello have the responsibility for getting this Maserati right.
Answer the following questions:
1. When did the rebirth of Maserati come?
2. When were Maseratis beautiful and highly regarded cars?
3. What do you know about colors of Maseratis?
4. Is the 3200GT more female and beautiful than DB7?
5. What was carried over from old Maserati?
6. Why does Masetati fly in any gear, at any speed?
7. Is the steering good?
8. What do you know about driver’s control?
Describe the Maserati GT3200.
Чебан Елена Петровна
для студентов 2 курса факультета транспорта
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Сибирского федерального университета
660041, г. Красноярск, пр. Свободный, 82а
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